After nearly three years serving as editor-in-chief to 3D printing news site 3DPrint.com (and almost four years writing for it), Sarah Goehrke recently announced she was leaving the website. Fortunately, the experienced additive manufacturing journalist still has her eyes on the industry and is launching into a range of new projects and partnerships. Excitingly, one of these projects entails Sarah joining the 3dpbm team as a contributor.
I recently spoke to Sarah about her career decisions and what we can expect to see from her in the future. Going back to the beginning of her professional career, it seems that Sarah—like me—ended up in the 3D printing industry somewhat unexpectedly.
A ‘weird route’
“My degrees are in English and Theatre and I have a minor in Spanish,” she tells me. “It was a weird route that I took to get here; none of it was really planned.” After her studies, Sarah took a job at a manufacturing company where she had temped. From there, she found a copyediting position at an industry research company, where she eventually became the lead copyeditor and industry analyst.
At the time, most studies she was writing and reading covered industries from around the world, though few pertained to 3D printing. “I read one study on 3D printing,” she says. “It’s kind of funny looking back, because when I read the report—it was around 2011—no one at the time knew how to segment the market.”
After six years working at the industry research company, Sarah saw a Craigslist posting for an editor and writer for a young tech news site. “I threw them a resume, got to talking and a week later I started at 3DPrint.com.”
When I ask about her recent decision to leave the website, Sarah explains that though it was a difficult choice, it was made easier by the fact that industry expert Joris Peels would take up her position as editor-in-chief.
“It was so hard,” she explains. “It was a decision that I made—nothing against the site at any point—it was just my time to exit and I was really happy that Joris was the one to take up the mantle. I’ve worked with him for a few years now, so I was excited that he would be the one picking it up. He’s already done some great things with the site already.”
Although she jokes that she never intended to become an entrepreneur, Sarah started her own business, Additive Integrity LLC, at the end of July.
“It was not a move I anticipated making, even when I was contemplating moving on and doing something new. But it turned out that having my own editorial services company was what was going to make the most sense. I started it to work with my primary international client [who will soon be announced]. I also wanted to do freelancing for other publications. I’m doing some ghostwriting, blogging, white papers and more.”
When I ask how the transition has been so far, Sarah is positive. “It’s been really good,” she says. “Busy is good. It’s also promising because it just shows that this industry is growing and what we’re doing is in demand. People in the industry are realizing they need to pay attention to how their stories are told and I think that’s so important.”
Diversity for AM
Another ongoing project that will likely come to define Sarah’s legacy in the 3D printing industry is the Diversity for AM report series, helmed by Women In 3D Printing’s Nora Toure and authored by Sarah. The first quarterly edition of the report, released in early April 2018, sought to highlight the gender gap in the additive manufacturing industry and to understand dynamics at play within its work force. The second quarter of the report, released a few weeks ago, brings more insight to the matter.
“We’re hoping these initial reports will lay the foundation so people see the kind of resource we’re hoping to build,” Sarah says. “Ultimately, it’s a very community-driven effort so we need people to help us gather this information. The more we all work together, the more we can present a more cohesive look at the shape of this industry.
“Nora and I are really excited about what is in the reports so far. Nine companies provided us with usable data and several more said they would be happy to contribute to future reports given a longer lead time. Three of the larger, more well-known companies have promised data for the next report. And, depending on what people are comfortable reporting, we’re even planning to expand the scope of diversity beyond gender. The whole point of the report is that it can adapt with what people want to see and with what companies want to share.”
On her personal experience as a woman in the industry, Sarah does say she’s seen a positive change over the last several years, with more women occupying positions at more companies. “We’re still a noticeable minority,” she adds. “But it’s become rare that I look around at an event and see I’m the only woman there.”
Intelligent growth of the industry
“I’m eager to continue working in the industry and working with strong partners like 3dpbm,” Sarah says, looking ahead. “I just want to contribute, wherever possible, to the intelligent growth of this industry by continuing to tell the stories of brilliant innovators that work in the industry; developments in materials, hardware and software; and the real and positive impacts 3D printing is having on the world.
“Generally, I think it’s great that this industry is so focused on collaboration above and beyond competition. And the more we all see it that way and the more we continue to work together the more we’ll continue to rise together. When you’re changing the status quo, it’s not about winning. If you’re going to have global impact, you need partnerships. So much of what we all do is about connections and continuing to leverage strong networks… This is how we’re all going to grow. This industry is what gives me hope because there are so many genuinely good, driven people working in it.”